13 episodes

UN/FOLDING_RE/FOLDING_FOLDED: Imiphindo kwaXhosa is an anthology podcast that presents a series of audio-visual tellings that explore, exhibit and expand on the fold in African fashion. Presented and produced by Siviwe James, each of the show’s episodes offers listeners intimate encounters with everyday Africans who are knowledge-makers and archivists. As a sonic intervention, everyday objects invite us into co-authored stories with the residents of the visited site(s), detailing the relationship between isinxibo nesihlonipho kwaXhosa.
Exec Prod: Bongani Tau,
Content Advisor: Sihle Sogaula

Imiphindo kwaXhosa African Fashion Research Institute

    • Arts

UN/FOLDING_RE/FOLDING_FOLDED: Imiphindo kwaXhosa is an anthology podcast that presents a series of audio-visual tellings that explore, exhibit and expand on the fold in African fashion. Presented and produced by Siviwe James, each of the show’s episodes offers listeners intimate encounters with everyday Africans who are knowledge-makers and archivists. As a sonic intervention, everyday objects invite us into co-authored stories with the residents of the visited site(s), detailing the relationship between isinxibo nesihlonipho kwaXhosa.
Exec Prod: Bongani Tau,
Content Advisor: Sihle Sogaula

    Bonus: Incoko nomboniso kuGatyana

    Bonus: Incoko nomboniso kuGatyana

    On the 25 August 2023, the production team for UN/FOLDING_RE/FOLDING_FOLDED: Imiphindo kwaXhosa returned kuGatyana to the co-authors and their community for a listening session. The day exceeded all expectations, turning the simple efforts of a creative research project into a regenerative and reparative experience for a community to SEE AND HEAR FROM THEMSELVES.
    Supported by the Willowvale Arts Center Manager, Lukhanyo Muluse and Curator and Arts Practitioner Azola Krweqe, the podcast listening session brought attention to the Center, 'inspiring the community anew of its value in grounding cultural and communal dialogues and activities. Located on the outskirts of this small town, the Center serves as a creative focal point. Established in 2008 by the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture the uniquely designed building supports artists from Willowvale and the Mbhashe local municipality by introducing innovative methods of fostering creative economies that respond to the sensibilities of the surroundings, and cater to its local communities. 
    Lukhanyo expressed the impact of the podcast project,
    “I would like to extend my gratitude to you for choosing the Willowvale Art Centre as a space to involve the community of Willowvale. The contemporary art scene in South Africa is not one that is easy to navigate, it is filled with inequalities that leave black and marginalized people on the outskirts. This is felt tenfold at Centre because it exists within a community that battles with challenges such as inadequate service delivery, minimal support from those in power, challenges around rural development, and arts and culture always taking the backseat.  Even though these challenges exist and are prevalent in the everyday, it is for us to continue pushing forward and doing the work that we have been called to do and engaging with the podcast was a reminder of this necessary work.” 
    It is words such as these that reflect on how sonic interventions of this nature can do more than just create interesting listening outcomes for contemporary audiences. They begin to fill the voids in our cultural fabric, and contribute to strengthening the voices/crafting new archives of everyday knowledges in thinking about how we fashion ourselves.

    CLOSING ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    Supporting organisations:
    Art Meets - Digital archive support on Art Meets App
    Eastern Cape Departments of Sports, Arts and Culture

    Special mention to locations referenced:
    Elukhanyisweni: James Family Home, kuQumbu, eMdeni
    Mr and Mrs James residence, eHighburry, Umtata
    Ngumla Family Home, eGcibala, Tsomo,
    Mpintsha Family Home, Nkanga, Willowvale
    Willowvale Arts Center, with special thanks to the Art Center Manager, Lukhanyo Muluse
    Walmer Road Lodge, Beacon Bay, East London with special thanks to Mrs Kutazwa James

    Production team:
    Executive Producer - Bongani Tau
    Curator - Siviwe James
    Content Advisor - Sihle Sogaula
    Graphic Designers - 2DOTS Space Agency
    Video and sound editing - Siviwe James
    Text by Siviwe James
    Xhosa advisor - Ms Nobuhle James

    Community contributors:
    The James Family with special thanks to Mrs Nokugcina James for allowing the recording of umsebenzi womyeni wakhe Mr Luphumlo James

    Willowvale Makers Co-op:
    Kholiswa Magida, Theko Theo Vinindwa, Philiswa
    Matutu, Nwabisa Mahlaleshushu, Miranda Sihlabeni

    The community yakuGatyana:
    Cebisa Magoqoza, Mzukisi Nketshu, Thando Madwantsi, Thobile
    Tsutsu, Sikelela Thobigunya, Neliswa Bambintala, Miranda
    Sihlangu, and the broader community at large

    Youth Participants:
    Zintle Bonakele, Vuyokazi Mncono, Lethu Jilingisi, Nokubonga Hawu, Lisakhanya Poni, Yolande Tskane, Liyabona Ntshobodwana, Buyiswa Beauty Nduwe

    Narrating Voices:
    Mr Mangaliso Jafta
    Azola Krweqe
    Ms Nobuhle James
    Mrs Nokhaya JilingisI
    Mama Phakani and Zizo Ntukushe

    Video/Visual contributors:
    Azola Krweqe
    Sibabalwe Makeleni

    • 2 min
    Episode 10: Inkcubeko Yakwantu

    Episode 10: Inkcubeko Yakwantu

    We spend time with uAzola Krweqe, a curator and visual practitioner from Cape Town, residing and practising from her paternal home located in Nkanga, Willowvale. Her photographic enquiries explore her subjects’ freedom to consider how they wish to be made visible to public audiences. While visitng with uAzola we come to learn of how her return home has nurtured a growing relationship with her culture and ancestral practises that have allowed for her to be returned to histories that tend to be forgotten when live and move in the cities. As we meander through her personal story we come to learn anew of how isintu can play an integral part kwingcinga yethu as black practitioners.


    Inckubeko Yakwantu is Azola’s extension on her research and development project following her time spent with Curator and British Council consultant Cindy Sissokho whilst at the 2022 Venice Biennale. Addressing the ongoing provocation of “representation”, Azola has come to grow her ideas, looking at ‘How young curators can think of ways that solve local issues?’ This includes creative work that encourages social development, particularly in rural and remote locations like that of Willowvale. Based kuGatyane, Inkcubeko Yakwantu involves the Makers of the Willowvale Arts Centre while drawing on indigenous knowledge practices and intuitive processes as a part of its development and experimentation. Key to Inkcubeko Yakwantu are intergenerational conversations between young and old, which aid the project in its re-imaginings of new pathways that help shape a more compassionate and self-empowered future.


    “It is my hope that this project will contribute towards rural development in South Africa by challenging the problematic representations of those living in rural areas that have been historically enforced through colonialism and western thought, and that continue to exist in the now. I am excited by the prospects of supporting and developing sustainable art and culture spaces/activities ezilalini (in rural areas).”
    Azola is a part of the community co-authors who offer us a new lens into ilali and it’s value for the contemporary Maker/Thinker.

    Community contributors
    The James Family
    Mrs Kutazwa James
    The community yaku Gatyana
    Willowvale Arts Center and with special thanks to the Art Center Manager, Lukhanyo Muluse
    Azola Krweqe

    Mama Makholi
    Ms Nobuhle James
    Mrs Nokhaya Jilingisa
    Willowvale Makers Co-op
    Mr Mangaliso Jafta

    Special thanks to the production team:
    Executive Producer - Bongani Tau
    Content Advisor - Sihle Sogaula
    Graphic Designers - 2DOTS Space Agency

    UN/FOLDING_RE/FOLDING_FOLDED is nestled under THE FOLD – a creative and collaborative research project led by the African Fashion Research Institute in partnership with Creative Nestlings Foundation for the New Narratives Programme 2023.

    • 9 min
    Episode 9: UN/Folding at the Willowvale Arts Center (W.A.C)

    Episode 9: UN/Folding at the Willowvale Arts Center (W.A.C)

    The Willowvale Arts Center is a creative hub located on
    the outskirts of the remote town of Willowvale. Established in 2008 by the Department of Sports, Arts and culture, the uniquely designed building is the host site for creatives kuGatyana (Willowvale) and Mbhashe Municipality at large, where many come to learn about and explore innovative methods that can aid them in growing in the local creative economy in the Eastern Cape. The center (W.A.C) functions as an inclusive space for the community to meet at, share and hold (archive) important cultural dialogues/stories/performances as means of engaging with cultural heritage in new, contemporary and dynamic ways for all practitioners/thinkers from the local area.


    By placing Imiphindo kwaXhosa in this local creative hub, the podcast was able to tap into the minds and practises of local Makers/Thinkers who tend to be left out of critical reflections on cultural practises. These practioners who are often referred to as 'ooMama noTata bethu' are the threads that hold the deeper lineal meanings of dress, ritual, design and the everyday in tact. By investing in local hubs and the Makers/Thinkers located here, we hope to offer these voices new audiences who will come to recognise and value their critical reflections on culture and the act of 'being' kwaXhosa.

    Community contributors
    The James Family
    Mrs Kutazwa James
    The community yaku Gatyana
    Willowvale Arts Center and with special thanks to the Art Center Manager, Lukhanyo Muluse
    Azola Krweqe
    Mama Makholi
    Ms Nobuhle James
    Mrs Nokhaya Jilingisa
    Willowvale Makers Co-op
    Mr Mangaliso Jafta

    Special thanks to the production team:
    Executive Producer - Bongani Tau
    Content Advisor - Sihle Sogaula
    Graphic Designers - 2DOTS Space Agency

    UN/FOLDING_RE/FOLDING_FOLDED is nestled under THE FOLD – a creative and collaborative research project led by the African Fashion Research Institute in partnership with Creative Nestlings Foundation for the New Narratives Programme 2023

    • 3 min
    Episode 8: Ukugotywa kweelwimi

    Episode 8: Ukugotywa kweelwimi

    What do the slippages of fashion look like? What happens to the voids? 


    In this episode we explore the slippages of fashion; blurring the urban & rural, the past & present, the individual & communal, folding languages, locations, and aesthetics to present new fashion knowledges, alternate fashion languages, and routes to other fashion genealogies.
    Ms Nobuhle James helps us navigate the beginnings of some of the traces of fold language kwaXhosa,  introducing the linguistic overlaps. Her personal story opens us up to discover the creative potentials that exist when we are limited with resources but passions burn deeply. Through her personal story we are reminded of the importance of investing/supporting/planting creative structures in ilali nabantwana basezilalini (the rural areas and with the village children). 

    As an advisor of isiXhosa in the Eastern Cape, Ms Nobuhle James becomes a teacher for the unknowing and the forgotten. She takes us into an informal room of coming to learn of the differences and similarities, the re-made and the innovative ways of learning and rearing found kwaXhosa.


    Community contributors
    The James Family
    Mrs Kutazwa James
    The community yaku Gatyana
    Willowvale Arts Center and with special thanks to the Art Center Manager, Lukhanyo Muluse
    Azola Krweqe

    Mama Makholi
    Ms Nobuhle James
    Mrs Nokhaya Jilingisa
    Willowvale Makers Co-op
    Mr Mangaliso Jafta

    Special thanks to the production team:
    Executive Producer - Bongani Tau
    Content Advisor - Sihle Sogaula
    Graphic Designers - 2DOTS Space Agency


    UN/FOLDING_RE/FOLDING_FOLDED is nestled under THE FOLD – a creative and collaborative research project led by the African Fashion Research Institute in partnership with Creative Nestlings Foundation for the New Narratives Programme 2023

    • 13 min
    Episode 7: Umbhinqo

    Episode 7: Umbhinqo

    Umbhinqo;

    Kubhinqa abatheni xa kutheni?

    Narrated by Mama Makholi, a maker at the Willowvale Arts Center, she details for us which folds adorn which body and for what occasions.

    Here we come to learn about isishuba and the colours that fashion male and female bodies kwaXhosa. In our conversation with Mama Makholi we try locate the historical roots of colours used kwaXhosa, when and why we wrap the body in this particular garment.

    Umbhinqo - the act of folding cloth around the body is normally associated with the female form but with Mama Makholi we come to understand that ukubhinqa extends to all genders, it is a way of wrapping the body as a form of showing respect to ancestry.

    Isishuba being the traditional garment for men kwaXhosa is made with certain specifications, Mama Makholi becomes our Fashion instructor, guiding us to come to appreciate the craftsmanship behind the garment.

    As we listen to her one has to wonder if our modern day re-appropriations do not take away from these historical meanings of the cloth that fashions the body.



    Community contributors 

    The James Family

    Mrs Kutazwa James 

    The community yaku Gatyana 

    Willowvale Arts Center and with special thanks to the Art Center Manager, Lukhanyo Muluse

    Azola Krweqe

    Ms Nobuhle James

    Mrs Nokhaya Jilingisa

    Mama Makholi

    Willowvale Makers Co-op

    Mr Mangaliso Jafta



    Special thanks to the production team:

    Executive Producer - Bongani Tau

    Content Advisor - Sihle Sogaula 

    Graphic Designers - 2DOTS Space Agency 



    UN/FOLDING_RE/FOLDING_FOLDED is nestled under THE FOLD – a creative and collaborative research project led by the African Fashion Research Institute in partnership with Creative Nestlings Foundation for the New Narratives Programme 2023

    • 5 min
    Episode 6: Iintsimbi iyathetha

    Episode 6: Iintsimbi iyathetha

    Knowledge-makers and Indigenous Archivists such as our elders, indigenous craft makers, okanye imbongi help build and maintain deep
    constructivism kwaXhosa, shaping how our histories continue to unfold. Through practice, collaboration, interaction, and education they guide our everyday encounters with indigenous knowledges acting as living remnants of our ancestry. Ancient knowledges are freely offered to us (children/community members kwaXhosa) as if one is being given a set of keys to their personal freedom.

    Mama Jilingisa is an Everyday Knowledge-Maker. Her wisdom and knowing of instimbi (traditional beadwork) and it’s many histories sets her apart as a sacred/important member of the community as she boldly advocates for skills and knowledges that have begun to loose their significant meanings. Her passions for her community (people and practices) has resulted in her being a sought after teacher. In her many workings, uMama teaches on the history, making and meaning of iintsimbi (beadwork) to community children, other crafters while championing for social development in her village.

    Yonke into iyathetha. Netsimbi le iyathetha.


    Here with uMama Jilingisa we re-construct the meanings, filling in the gaps to reveal the intergenerational narratives that are situated in the art of iintsimbi. Before they adorn the body as decorative pieces, they come to reveal ritual/sacred threads that connect us to our long past.



    Community contributors 

    The James Family

    Mrs Kutazwa James 

    The community yaku Gatyana 

    Willowvale Arts Center and with special thanks to the Art Center Manager, Lukhanyo Muluse

    Azola Krweqe

    Ms Nobuhle James

    Mrs Nokhaya Jilingisa

    Willowvale Makers Co-op

    Mr Mangaliso Jafta

    Special thanks to the production team:

    Executive Producer - Bongani Tau

    Content Advisor - Sihle Sogaula 

    Graphic Designers - 2DOTS Space Agency 

    UN/FOLDING_RE/FOLDING_FOLDED is nestled under THE FOLD – a creative and collaborative research project led by the African Fashion Research Institute in partnership with Creative Nestlings Foundation for the New Narratives Programme 2023

    • 7 min

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